A soloist musician, composer and vibrant collaborator, Laura Ortman (White Mountain Apache) creates across multiple platforms, including recorded albums, live performances, and filmic and artistic soundtracks. She has collaborated with artists such as Tony Conrad, Jock Soto, Raven Chacon, Nanobah Becker, Okkyung Lee, Martin Bisi, Caroline Monnet, Tanya Lukin Linklater, Martha Colburn, and Loren Connors. An inquisitive and exquisite violinist, Ortman is versed in Apache violin, piano, electric guitar, keyboards, and amplified violin, often sings through a megaphone, and is a producer of capacious field recordings.
She has performed at The Whitney Museum of American Art and The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal, and the Centre Pompidou, Paris, among countless established and DIY venues in the US, Canada, and Europe. In 2008 Ortman founded the Coast Orchestra, an all-Native American orchestral ensemble that performed a live soundtrack to Edward Curtis’s film In the Land of the Head Hunters (1914), the first silent feature film to star an all-Native American cast. Ortman is the recipient of the 2020 Jerome@Camargo Residency in Cassis, France, 2017 Jerome Foundation Composer and Sound Artist Fellowship, 2016 Art Matters Grant, 2016 Native Arts and Culture Foundation Fellowship, 2015 IAIA’s Museum of Contemporary Native Arts Social Engagement Residency, 2014-15 Rauschenberg Residency, and 2010 Artist-in-Residence at Issue Project Room. She was also a participating artist in the 2019 Whitney Biennial. Ortman lives in Brooklyn, New York.